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We spoke to Tom Bachik, celebrity nail technician and spokesperson for Dr. Scholl's, for his best advice on keeping feet feeling and looking their best.
1. Put pedicures in your calendar
Bachik recommends getting (or giving yourself) a pedicure about every two weeks—no matter if it's sandal or boot season. We often neglect our feet in the winter, but proper maintenance can help prevent foot problems all year round.
2. Rub away rough skin
In addition to your full foot care routine every other week, use a pumice stone weekly, scrubbing away dry skin and calluses a little at a time. If you've forgotten about your feet for a while, don't try to make up for weeks of neglect by sloughing off calluses all at once, and always avoid blades. "Your body builds up that skin as a cushion," says Bachik, "so when you take it off all at once, your body interprets it as a trauma." That can lead to your feet rebuilding the skin quickly, for protection. Bachik suggests using the pumice on dry feet first, then adding water for the final scrub.
3. Exfoliate to remove dead skin
The skin on the top of your foot is far too thin and delicate for a stone, so you need to use an exfoliating scrub to get rid of dry skin there. Bachik recommends using Dr. Scholl's For Her Pumice Foot Scrub ($9, drscholls.ca), which uses bits of pumice and natural peppermint to freshen up and moisturize the feet.
4. Moisturize immediately
Your feet have fewer oil glands than other parts of the body, which makes moisturizing them more important. Dry feet can easily crack and become infected. The best time to moisturize is right after you've scrubbed away dry skin. But don't just save it for during pedicures: Bachik says daily hydration is preventative maintenance against calluses and other foot problems.
5. Shape toenails smoothly
Trim your nails short and file them into a square shape with rounded corners. Bachik stresses the need to take extra care with the corners, ensuring they're smooth, not pointy, in order to prevent ingrown toenails. And before you give your toes the first coat of polish, wipe them with rubbing alcohol, not nail polish remover. The moisturizers in most polish removers prevent polish from properly adhering to the nail.
Learn why it's so important to have healthy feet.